Sure, French patisseries and Japanese desserts may be all the rage nowadays, but there’s no denying how delightful and nostalgic local confectioneries can be. Get in touch with your inner child and join us on a journey to rediscover these bakeries and confectioners of old.
Tiong Bahru Galicier Pastry
Nestled under a HDB block in Tiong Bahru, this humble shop churns out magical nyonya kueh that has seemed to have almost disappeared in Singapore. You’ll find everything here, from favourites like ondeh ondeh, kueh salat to more elusive and lesser-known kueh such as kueh kosui, kueh ambon, keih dadar and lumper udang. Unsurprisingly, they are popular amongst locals in the area, many of whom grew up eating nyonya kueh. Due to the sheer amount of kueh they make, the varieties available at any given time is very much dependent on your luck.
Address: Blk 55, Tiong Bahru Road, #01-39, Singapore 160055
Opening Hours: Tuesday, 10am–7.30pm, Wednesday–Sunday, 10am–8.30pm, Closed on Monday
Contact: 6324 1686
Ji Xiang Confectionery
When it comes to good ol’ ang ku kueh, Ji Xiang Confectionery is the place to go. They’ve been making ang ku kueh since 1988, practically mastering the art of these little red treats — the perpetual queues are a testament to their quality. It gets pretty crowded in the late mornings, but crowds thin out by the late afternoon. Their ang ku kueh is the paragon of what an ang ku kueh should be. The skin is chewy, delicate and soft. I don’t know what magic they cast on it, but I adore their peanut ang ku kueh, stuffed with a buttery peanut paste. The sweet bean one is also very popular for its smooth and luscious filling.
Address: Everton Park, Blk 1, #01-33, Singapore 081001
Opening Hours: Monday–Saturday, 8.30am–5pm, Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays
Phone: 6223 1631
I read about this place online, and headed down right away. They are known for their orh nee tarts and cheese tarts, which cost a mere $1.20 a piece. I’m a sucker for cheap, good, and delicious things, and also very much a sucker for cheese tarts. However, when I got there, the shelves were wiped clean! They weren’t kidding when they said the tarts here were elusive! After chatting with the friendly elderly duo who run the place, they told me the best time to come would be at 7am — when they open. You’d best be prepared to wake up early for these (trust us, they’re worth it)!
Address: The Plaza, 7500A Beach Rd, #B1-321, Singapore 199591
Opening Hours: Monday–Friday, 7am–2.30pm, Closed on Saturday and Sunday
Phone: 9731 3002
Located in Sunset Way, Balmoral Bakery is a British-influenced bakery selling all sorts of lovely golden goodies. Founded in 1965 by a pair of Hainanese brothers, their main clientele used to be British and American military personnel who were stationed in Singapore. However, it looks like they found favour with the local crowd, too. The business is still a family-run one, and is it still going strong! Their chicken pies, curry puffs and cream puffs are especially popular. My mother is especially fond of their buttercream cakes!
Address: Sunset Way, Blk 105 Clementi Street 12, #01-06, Singapore 120105
Opening Hours: Monday–Sunday, 9am–7.30pm
Phone: 6779 2064
Dona Manis Cake Shop
Famous for their Banana Pie, Dona Manis Cake Shop is located in Katong Shopping Centre. Their banana pie is a decadent treat, filled with beautiful caramelised bananas and a layer of toasted nuts. As someone who is big on textures, let me tell you — this banana pie has it all. From the creamy, caramelised bananas that almost seem to melt on your tongue, to the slight crunch of the toasted nut layer, to the buttery, crisp pie crust. People weren’t exaggerating when they said this was the best banana pie in Singapore. Another fan-favourite is the chocolate tarts, which is bound to please any chocoholic out there.
Address: Katong Shopping Centre, 865 Mountbatten Road, #B1-93, Singapore 437844
Opening Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 10.30am–5pm, Closed on Monday and Sunday
Phone: 6440 7688
Another neighbourhood favourite, Love Confectionery is nestled in Alexandra Village. Just like any old-school bakery, their displays are simple glass cabinets, nothing too fancy. On offer here are the buttercream cakes, garnished with an assortment of toppings like peanut powder, chocolate rice and rainbow sprinkles. The pandan cake is known to be pillowy soft, and the custard buns are a hot item amongst kids. The cakes here sell out fast, so come here early.
Address: Blk122, Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-60, Singapore 150122
Opening Hours: Monday–Saturday, 12pm–9pm, Closed on Sunday
Phone: 6278 2385
Sze Thye Cake Shop
While many shops sell peanut candy, they are often factory-made. However, at Sze Thye Cake Shop, it is done entirely by hand. It is truly a labour of love — the process of making peanut candy from scratch is a painstaking one. The third-generation owner had learnt it from his father, but with no one to hand the reins to, this place may be one of the many old-school confectioneries bound to disappear in time to come. The peanut candy and sesame candy are hot items.
Address: 2 Beach Road, #01-4795, Singapore 190002
Opening Hours: Monday–Sunday, 9am–8pm
Phone: 9658 1286
Sin Hon Loong
If you’re like me and love the smell of freshly baked bread, you’re in for a treat. Sin Hon Loong is one of the bakeries that seem to never stop baking bread — bread seems to pop out of the oven every few minutes! It’s not the fancy kind you’d find in French boulangeries, though. The main offering here is the fluffy white loaf that is used as a vessel for kaya, the marriage between the two birthing what is Singapore’s beloved kaya toast. Buy a whole loaf, get it slathered with butter, peanut butter or kaya and bring home for breakfast the next day.
Address: 4 Whampoa Drive, Singapore 327715
Opening Hours: Monday–Sunday, 24 hours
Phone: 6256 0878